Programme to Manage Four Colonies of Stray and Feral Cats in the Town of Sant Martí Vell

Project location: SPAIN, Sant Martí Vell
Project start date: November 2016 - Project end date: October 2019
Project number: 2016-051
Beneficiary: Town Hall Of Sant Martí Vell

The Project indicated having the Title “Programme to manage four colonies of stray and feral cats in the municipality of Sant Martí Vell” shall consist of a study to identify the problems caused by colonies of stray cats by carrying out a census of the estimated cat population, identifying the agents involved, detecting successful experiences and implementing an action plan with the aim of finding solutions for the various problems identified.

The start date will be on November 2016 and the completion date on October 2019.

A controlled colony is defined as a group of surgically neutered cats who live together in a public or private space, and who are monitored and fed with dry food.
As well as solving the possible public sanitation problems associated with overpopulation, controlled colonies of cats also make it possible to enjoy the benefits, at the level of socialisation and coexistence, of appropriate integration into the urban surroundings.

The problem with colonies of cats derives from the uncontrolled growth of their population in public spaces. Some citizens feed the animals, leading to an uncontrolled growth of the number of cats, often leading to unsanitary locations and conflicts with local residents.

The purpose of this study is to identify the problems caused by colonies of cats by carrying out a census of the estimated cat population, identifying the agents involved, detecting successful experiences and implementing an action plan with the aim of finding solutions for the various problems identified. Our aim is for the quality of life of these animals to be as high as possible.

TNR is the most socially acceptable method and, therefore, the one used by all animal associations around the world with the aim of helping street cats, stray cats and feral cats. The method involves trapping them, neutering them and returning them to their habitat in the most natural and least stressful way possible for the animals.
Once the cat is returned to its habitat, the people who feed it will take care of it throughout its lifespan and will provide water and food in accordance with its physical and nutritional needs and following a feeding protocol.
TNR also involves veterinary care for cats when needed, eliminating parasites, ongoing monitoring of their health, etc.

It is important to take into account that the problems caused by the location of a colony do not only relate to coexistence between neighbours, but also to public health and environmental problems, depending on their location and size. The administration's responsibility is to act to ensure peaceful coexistence, maintain public health and protect the environment and guarantee the survival and good condition of the cats.

A company hired by the Council will distribute the dry food twice a week to the different people who feed the cats. This company, along with volunteers, will also take care of trapping the cats and taking them to the vets, well as returning them to the colony after neutering.

It is entirely necessary to continue with this programme as the presence of colonies that are not well managed would involve creating areas with refuse from organic waste and problems with smells and would attract urban pests and cause problems with excrement, dead cats, etc.

The Council will play a more or less active role and so must take charge of regulating the colonies, actively helping with the neutering of the cats by subsidising the costs when required.
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